By Phyllis Richards
Retiree Betzi Yungclas recently extended her volunteer service to Humane Borders because of the life changing and life saving ministry she sees within the desert of Arizona. Finding migrants in the desert is a big part of the job. “Most of the time, those I come across are in bad shape,” says Betzi. “We provide them with water and food, and you can see they really need it after not having it for a while.”
Juanita Molina, director of Humane Borders, says the program has changed a lot over the last few years. “Before, we rarely saw people who had tried to make it across the desert,” says Juanita. “We now see them all the time and they are truly vulnerable.”
When Betzi retired, she wanted to give her time and energy. She volunteered in New Orleans with the Disaster Response Ministries, which recently ended its six plus years support of Hurricane Katrina response.
Her current volunteer assignment is much different from the first, because of the language barrier. Yet while Betzi does not know the language of the migrants, Juanita reports that she has tremendous patience and warmth. “Very few people can do what Betzi does,” Juanita goes on to say.
“The news makes it sound like only drug cartel or traffickers cross the desert”, said Betzi. “But we see people who want to make a better life for themselves. People who simply want to put food on the table, to buy medicine for sick family members and who see their situation getting worse”.
Juanita says the program is grateful to Betzi. “She has been able to do things we did not think were possible,” says Juanita. “She has helped with recent transitions, which helps the program be able to reach more vulnerable people.” Betzi sees the work of Humane Borders much like the Civil Rights Movement. One Great Hour of Sharing is proud to support the life-saving ministries of Humane Borders.